welcome to bbc news. i'm mike embley. our top stories: china deploys the military as concern grows over the true scale of the coronavirus in hubei province. the us senate votes to limit president trump's ability to wage war against iran. the un says 800,000 people have been displaced in syria since december in the offensive by government forces. antarctica registers a temperature of more than 20 celsius for the first time since records began.
hello to you. the world health organization has requested "further clarity" from china about its recent official change in how cases of the coronavirus are diagnosed. the new broader definition has produced what appears to be a spike in the figures in hubei province — there are now more than 55,000 cases recorded there. but the who says infection and mortality rates are not rising dramatically outside china. john sudworth reports from beijing. china's at war with this virus, flying in extra supplies and a reinforcement of 2,600 extra troops. but there's still deep confusion about the enemy they're fighting, how many it's infected and how many it is killing. until now, only those with a positive lab test were counted as confirmed cases, but lab tests take time. now patients confirmed by much quicker ct scans
are being included. it's slightly less reliable, but it means the number of cases has rocketed. what's far more worrying is the big leap in deaths. the sudden increase is made up of those patients who only had ct scans, not counted before. but are those extra deaths added up from across the past three weeks or are they a new daily count, pointing to a hidden number of similar daily deaths? china hasn't told us. it's been focused on messages of loyalty. these patients had been sworn into a communist committee and it's been settling political scores, removing the boss of the province where the outbreak started. the media are showing hard—working heroes stories, too. it is a driver's wedding anniversary. "come home soon" his sign says.
his wife's a nurse looking after virus patients and contact with the outside world is forbidden. from beijing, i ask if china can beat the virus. "of course we will win," he says. even in china's capital, the impact is felt. this shop is keeping a safe distance from its customers. china is now portraying this as a patriotic fight involving the masses, the enforcement of strict quarantine measures, and the mandatory wearing of face masks. of course, viruses don't listen to propaganda. they are best beaten with good data and an open and transparent public health policy. there's no shortage of fighting spirit, but there's so much we still don't know about how this is going to end. john sudworth, bbc news, beijing.
more on that to come from a specialist guest a little later in the programme. eight republican senators have sided with democrats in the us senate, requiring president trump to seek authorisation from congress before starting hostilities against iran. it's an attempt to restrain the president's ability to attack the country. mr trump has promised to veto the measure. 0ur north america correspondent, david willis, has more details. it's called the iran war powers resolution and it limits president trump's ability to initiate any more military action against iran without the permission of congress. and this resolution comes in the wake of the attack, of course, about six weeks ago, on that high—ranking iranian general who was killed in a drone strike in iraq, qasem soleimani. that was an attack the americans which substantially increases the tensions between the two countries. well, today, eight republicans voted with the democrats
in favour of this resolution, curbing the authority of the president in this regard. but as you correctly say, mike, it is largely symbolic because this vote, 55—45, fall short of the two—thirds a supermajority that is needed to overrule a veto by the president, a veto which he has vowed to impose on this resolution when it all gets to his desk. having said that, supporters of this resolution will take some comfort, i think, from the fact that the number of republican senators who voted in favour of curbing the president's authorities in this regard today is double the number that voted in favour when similar piece of legislation, a similar resolution, came before the senate in july of last year. and, david, the president is saying this will weaken american national security, as he puts it, as he sees it,
this is not the time to show weakness towards iran, what's being made of that? yes, that's right. and that's actually been a refrain that has been taken up by a number of his republican supporters in the senate, mike. but i think a lot of them, a lot of congressmen and women were indignant when it came to that attack on qasem soleimani, the fact that congress was not informed in advance and then received a fairly dismissive treatment in the view of some senators over the long—term strategy when it came to briefing senators by members of the trump administration's intelligence team. they were apparently somewhat dismissive about questions about the long—term middle east strategy on the part of the president and his administration and that is said to have caused some republicans to have basically crossed the aisle on this particular vote.
david willis for us there. in a rare public sign of tension, the us attorney general has urged president trump to stop tweeting about justice department cases, saying some of the president's posts are making it "impossible for me to do myjob." in an extraordinary rebuke aired on abc news, william barr said he would not be bullied by anyone, but he said some of the tweets were a constant background commentary undercutting him. earlier, president trump renewed his attack on the criminal trial of his long—time friend and former advisor, roger stone. to have public statements and tweets made about the department, about our people in the department, our men and women here, about cases pending in the department, and about judges before whom we have cases, make it impossible for me to do myjob and to assure the courts and the prosecutors and the department that we're doing our work with integrity.
and i'm not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody. and i said at the time, whether it's congress, newspaper, editorial boards, or the president. let's get some of the day's other news. boris johnson's first major cabinet reshuffle as british prime minister has been overshadowed by the shock resignation of his chancellor of the exchequer, sajid javid. mrjavid walked out after being ordered to fire his team of advisers and refusing to do so. the us government has filed new charges against huawei, and its chief financial officer, meng wanzhou. the latest indictment accuses the chinese tech giant of plotting to steal trade secrets. there are also new allegations about huawei's business dealings with iran and north korea, said to be in breach of sanctions. huawei has consistently denied any wrongdoing. president trump has again claimed that the united states is "very close" to a peace deal with the taliban in
afghanistan. the two sides have agreed a 7—day reduction in violence, in what may be another step towards the possible withdrawal of american troops. the us secretary of state has called it an important breakthrough, but said the talks were still "complicated". united nations officials are saying tens of thousands of people have fled northern syria just in the past 48 hours, as fighting intensified in the provinces of idlib and aleppo. 60% of those fleeing are said to be children. it's thought 800,000 people have left the area since december. rich preston has this report. it's freezing in northern syria. this camp has been overwhelmed by new arrivals. families are struggling to find somewhere to live and something to eat. translation: the situation here is very difficult. it's snowing and the temperature is below zero. we're staying in because rent for a house costs between $100 and $200.
but being out in the open is still preferable to this — unrelenting air strikes by russian forces, causing untold damage. russia supports the government of bashar al—assad in its mission to regain control of rebel—held areas. translation: we were sitting in the village and then suddenly the aircraft hit. look at this destruction! what did we do to bashar? let him go to the front line. i want to know what we did to him. turkey, which supports the rebels, has accused moscow of deliberately targeting civilians. moscow denies this. towns have been left deserted. turkey has sent reinforcements to the border, warning it will strike back if turkish soldiers are hurt. 13 have been killed so far this month. the tension is rising between turkey and russia,
but this is where it's being felt, 600 kilometres away from ankara and 3,000 kilometres away from moscow. richard preston, bbc news. president cyril ramaphosa says south africa's economy has stalled and public finances are under severe pressure. in his state of the nation address, he said state firms including south african airways and the power company eskom, are in crisis. nomsa maseko reports from cape town. the usual pomp and ceremony ahead of president cyril ramaphosa's state of the nation speech. but festivities didn't last long. honourable malema, what is your point of order? honourable speaker, we have a murderer in the house. proceedings were delayed by a chaotic hour—long disruption. the opposition economic freedom fighters called on fw de klerk, the last apartheid era president, to leave parliament after calling him
an unrepentant racist. after that demand was rejected, they then called on president ramaphosa to fire pravin gordhan — the minister responsible for state—owned enterprises, including power utility eskom and the embattled south african airways. after all the chaos, the president finally spoke. our country is facing a stark reality. our economy has not grown at any meaningful rate for over a decade. even as jobs are created, the rate of unemployment continues to deepen. he pointed out the obvious — the lack of economic growth, unemployment, spiralling government debt and struggling state—owned enterprises. he mentioned setting up a foreign fund and a state bank but how this will work and where the money will come from is unclear. mr ramaphosa also spoke about the african continental
free trade area which comes into effect this year. and described it as a moment to give effect to the dreams of the founding fathers of african unity. it remains to be seen if south africans who are already disillusioned will believe the promises made by the president. stay with us on bbc news. much more to come. still to come: the growing popularity of online dating in pakistan's conservative society. there's mr mandela. mr nelson mandela, a free man, taking his first steps into a new south africa. iran's spiritual leader ayatollah khomeini has said he's passed a death sentence on salman rushdie, the british author of a book which many
muslims say is blasphemous. the people of haiti have flocked to church to give thanks for the ousting of their former president, 'ba by doc' duvalier. because of his considerable value as a stallion, shergar was kept in a special, secure box in the stud farm's central block. shergar was driven away in a horse box the thieves had brought with them. there stepped down from the plane a figure in mourning. elizabeth ii, queen of this realm and of all her other realms and territories. head of the commonwealth, defender of the faith. this is bbc news, the latest headlines: china has confirmed 5,000 more cases of patients with the new coronavirus and 116 deaths in hubei province. let's stay with that
story and talk now to william schaffner — professor of infectious diseases at vanderbilt university in nashville tennessee. thank in nashville tennessee. you very much for your time. thank you very much for your time. doesn't make a certificate difference, would you say revising the way cases are diagnosed? of course it does. the difficulty is that we can't i2 does. the difficulty is that we can't12 whether cases are generally increasing, staying the same or decreasing and of course, that is something we all want to know. the chinese have done this giant, public health experiment with quarantine and we would surely like to know whether the goal of the quarantine, reducing the transmission of the virus, has been effective. and yet, presumably, you can't compare what is happening in various parts of the world unless there is consistency in the way cases are defined and diagnosed. of course, that's correct.
consistency is what you need. so if you have changing definitions of what you're calling a case, all of a sudden, the data becomes very difficult to interpret. so how do you interpret what you are hearing? well, we have to wonder whether cases are still occurring at a substantial rate in wuhan. that would be very disturbing because i was rather optimistic that this large quarantine and the request that people remain at home without contact with others would indeed have reduced the transmission of this virus. i was very hopeful. now, i'm not so was very hopeful. now, i'm not so certain. on that point, officially, the rate of infection seems to have fallen. is the cause for optimism? i think we havejust is the cause for optimism? i think we have just lost the professor. we will try to get him back of course. interesting information still to come out as we already had but we will try to get back to nashville,
tennessee in a moment. let's just move on. france is planning to limit access to mont blanc to curb pollution and protect the area's biodiversity. president emmanuel macron made the announcement during a visit to france's biggest glacier on mont blanc — which is receding and thinning. he said the issue of climate change was critical for human survival. translation: this will be the battle of the century. our ability to invent a new way of living — of living and doing things sustainably. i believe that we can take up this fight of the century and we have decided to take it up in our country. and even if it is the battle of the century, it requires patience. it requires determination. it requires rapid action. i know that you are ready for it and i am ready for it too. the antarctic has recorded a temperature of more than 20 degrees celsius for the first time since records began. although scientists say this may be a one—off and not part of a long—term trend —
it raises concerns about climate change. the reading of 20.75 degrees was taken by a brazilian team on seymour island. the bbc‘s tim allman reports. time lapse photography showing a huge sheet of ice falling apart. this is the pine island glacier, known as pig, giving birth to a piglet. a ginormous iceberg around 300 square kilometres in size which scientists say, eventually broke up and shattered into pieces. another example of how rising temperatures are having a devastating effect on the antarctic. this is maxwell bay, where a chilean research team is based but something is missing, snow. there hasn't been any this year and that is becoming increasingly normal. translation: these maximum temperatures used to occur once every thousand years, then every hundred years. and now we're seeing them, i think, in the order
of decades. i think that's a consequence of climate change. this latest temperature, nearly a degree higher than the previous record, could be an outlier. but that seems unlikely. scientists say there is a noticeable trend, the antarctic ice sheet is melting. if it disappears completely, as many fear it will, global sea could rise by more than three metres. that would transform the face of the planet. tim allman, bbc news. it's take you back to developments in the coronavirus story and talking again with the professor of infectious diseases. sorry about that, we lost you. we were talking about the difficulties in changes to how cases of the virus are defined and diagnosed officially in china, there does
seem to be a fall rate of infection. it is that a cause for optimism? i remain optimistic, i certainly hope thatis optimistic, i certainly hope that is correct. as we like to say, in god we trust, all of us must provide data and i would like to see consistent data to convince me that cases are indeed diminishing. we hope thatis indeed diminishing. we hope that is the case, that quarantine should have reduced the frequency of transmission of this virus. all kinds of people are likely to be watching you with concern. as the virus spreads, people have no connection with china or asia feel vulnerable. how vulnerable, generally, are we and what practical steps can be taken? well, the developed world, of course, has interrupted travel to and from china which means expectations of this disease to countries such as my own have virtually stopped. and our public health
department is on top of this very, very thoroughly. what i'm still concerned about is if this virus can get into some of the developing countries where the developing countries where the public health infrastructure is not as strong, then this virus may indeed set up shop in other parts of the world. so if you can, practical steps that we could take, whether in developed or developing countries? well, the first thing is, wash your hands, avoid people who are coughing and sneezing and for the time being, do not spend time with people who have recently come back from china. thank you very much indeed. my pleasure. online dating has become a huge part of our lives but in pakistan's conservative society, it's a relatively new concept. a match making forum on facebook called 'skip the rishta or matchmaking aunty‘ has built up nearly 3,000 members in less than a year. and that's where aisha and ahad met after years of matchmaking efforts by their families.
shumaila khan from the bbc urdu service spoke to the couple. translation: so many times for matchmakers, people came to meet me and then got up and left. sometimes, they were happy with me but later they said after consulting with god, i was not right for them. i was fed up. translation: usually the girl would come, bring the tea and parade in front of you like some sort of cattle. i really don't like it. translation: we met through this online forum, skip the matchmaking aunty and started talking. first online, then in real life. then we arranged a meeting of ourfamilies.
translation: she was the eighth girl i talked to. our hobbies were similar and many other things just matched. but our first date was actually after our engagement. translation: i wanted to make sure that he came from a good, well educated family. i was also frank about myself. i love animals. i even posted on my profile on facebook that i would bring my cats along with me everywhere. translation: the clear advantage of this and similar online groups is that members are able to talk to each other directly on their own. translation: i think that a profile shouldn't be excessively lengthy but it should be reflecting your personality and what kind of person you are. the other details can always be exchanged by calling and talking to each other. i'm the only daughter and ahad is also the only child so we obviously can't
control our families as much as we wanted. we only wanted a simple marriage ceremony but it was a proper one with all of those traditional receptions and other rituals. and a happy valentine's day to everybody. in australia, police officers have been accused of racial bias against aboriginal children under a repeat offender monitoring scheme. last month there were protests during australia day, the national holiday that marks the arrival of the first europeans to australia. a report by the new south wales police watchdog has found that almost three—quarters of the 400 children who took part in a so—called preventative policing scheme, were possibly aboriginal australians or torres strait islanders. police have challenged the report — they say fewer than half were aboriginal.
locations featured in the oscar—winning south korean film parasite have experienced a boom and since it won last weekend. it is been at the first non—english language film two won the award since the awards began. off to my career has been looking to tap into the phenomenal man has a page on its website detailing shooting locations. we should leave you with these pictures ofa leave you with these pictures of a former polar bear cub on its first outdoor outing at a zoo its first outdoor outing at a zoo in vienna. the animal park director has called it a fantastic moment. you can see why. the cupboard is vienna's first birth of a polar bear in 12 years. visitors to the zoo have been invited to come up with name proposals. a return unafraid to that main story because their only figures coming out. in china, officials have concerned at least 5000
more cases of the coronavirus and in all, they've recorded more than 1300 deaths. world health organization has requested further clarity in the change in how china binds their diagnosis of the disease. that's it for now, thank you so much watching. hello. storm dennis on the way this weekend, nowhere escaping the strong winds, disruptive in places but concern growing aboutjust how much rain coming from it as well. one rain band bearing south on friday but look how much rain is going to come from dennis on the weekend. yes from dennis on the weekend. very windy but sever spells yes very windy but several spells of prolonged rain, thickly for areas of england and wales and areas that have seen a lot of rain and the risk of saturated flooding going up over the weekend. the met office has a number of amber warnings in place for rain covering parts of england and wales and so it is worth adding to the website to find out about all the warnings and what
they mean for where you are and do that well ahead of the weekend. where of course the weather will be stormy. before weather will be stormy. before we get to storm dennis, is this next storm moving south during friday. many starting dry the rain quickly through northern ireland and then across scotla nd ireland and then across scotland coupled with snowmelt in southern scotland could bring flooding in a few spots here. it does turn patchy as it works forever south across england and wales. behind accommodate or see the back of the rain and brighten up with a few showers. gusty winds, thickly crossing off the north—west of scotland in excess of 60 mph in a place is here. showers continue to friday evening. the rain, once it reaches east anglia and south—east england that will p0p up south—east england that will pop up on friday but for many of us going to saturday morning, it is the lobby for storm dennis but it may be starting dry on saturday morning. it's not going to last because it is during saturday that we will see it all going downhill very quickly. plenty of rain than a moving and again and this is the start of prolonged rain, particularly parts of england and wales and the wind strengthening
especially during saturday afternoon and evening before easing a bit on saturday night and picking up again during a sunday. and of course, this rain here will be creating some really difficult travelling conditions coupled with the strong winds and land around 50 mph and stronger winds around the coast, particularly west and south. it is getting milder but again, it is very wet and very windy. my rain, particularly into england and wales on saturday night and into sunday. getting windier again on sunday was not be the end of the day before it finally clears away from south—east england so the risk of increases as rain totals counter. a storm dennis gets closer to scotland and northern ireland, could be to and sunday and another 's wave of damaging winds arriving at the end of the day.
this is bbc news. the headlines: in china, officials have confirmed at least 4,000 cases of the coronavirus, 116 more deaths have been reported. the world health organization has requested "further clarity" about a recent change in how china defines and diagnoses the disease. there are now more than 50,000 cases in hubei province. the us senate has voted to limit president trump's ability to wage war against iran. eight senators from his own republican party sided with democrats to require him to seek authorisation from congress before starting further hostilities against iran. mr trump says the move threatens us national security and that he will veto it.
un officials are saying since december 800,000 people have been forced from their homes by president assad's latest military offensive in northern syria. it's believed around 60% of those fleeing the fighting in idlib and neighbouring aleppo are children. it is about 3:30am in the morning. you are up—to—date with the headlines. now on bbc news: panorama. now, you know why i'm making a video. because i like making videos. this is callie lewis. she ended her own life in 2018, when she was just 24. callie was very, very passionate about whatever it was that she would turn her mind to. she was really passionate about animals and animal rights. so she would always say she much preferred animals to people.